Beavers: South West

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the reintroduction of beavers into the South West of England in order to encourage the use of natural solutions to improve flood management.

Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will fund the reintroduction of beavers into appropriate catchment areas of the South West of England in order (1) to improve local flood resilience, and (2) to promote biodiversity.

Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Environment Sub-Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will classify the Eurasian beaver as a native species that can breed and live freely in Great Britain; and if so, (1) when, and (2) under what circumstances, they will do so.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out this Government’s commitment to providing opportunities for the reintroduction of native species where the benefits for the environment, people and the economy are clear.

We recognise the range of benefits that beavers may provide with regard to flood management, biodiversity, water quality and resilience to climate change. On the 8th of August the Government announced that beavers on the River Otter, the only licensed wild population, would be allowed to remain there permanently and will be allowed to continue to expand their range naturally.

We plan to hold a public consultation early next year on our national approach for beaver reintroduction, and our strategy for the management of the potential negative impacts of this native species in the wild. Natural England, with support from EA, are continuing work to help inform the Government’s national approach to the management and release of beaver in England and have been engaging with key stakeholders.

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